Whether you are already versed in the different types of senior living options available to your or your loved one, or you are just starting out on your research journey, when looking into independent living communities you will be faced with an overwhelming barrage of information.
Here, in an attempt to clarify the most important facts and information nuggets, is a detailed and comprehensive guide to independent living communities.
What Actually Is An Independent Living Community?
Essentially, an independent living community, also known as senior living or retirement facility, is a type of senior community that facilitates the possibility of residents living entirely independently in a safe, secure and welcoming environment full of the same aged neighbors.
Designed not unlike a housing estate or college campus, residents live in their own apartment or house and run their home themselves just as before. The only main difference with this is that the annual or monthly, fee they pay covers basic bills and things like ground and area maintenance costs.
In an independent living facility, a heavy emphasis is always placed on creating, encouraging and growing a community feel among each and every resident and activity, while still allowing for privacy and alone time whenever required, desired or needed.
The Different Types Of Senior Living Care Options Available
Fortunately, there is now a wide plethora of senior living care options available to your loved one, wholly dependent on the type and level of assistance, help and support required.
1. Respite Care
While not readily available in all states, respite care is an incredibly beneficial service that provides both the caregiver and your loved one a break from the constant responsibility for the former and a change of routine and environment for the latter.
Respite care can be provided for just a few hours, overnight, long weekends or even an entire week or more. It is vital that caregivers are aware of respite care as an option and the best time to elect for respite care is before the caregiver starts to feel frustrated and drained.
2. Support In Your Own Home
When a loved one is suffering with a physical disability or a debilitating mental illness such as dementia, often the best, if only for the short-term, decision is to provide in-house care. Certainly, especially when it comes to dementia sufferers, the more familiar the surrounding, the less distressing outside help and unfamiliar faces can be.
There are two main types of home-support available in the United States, namely floating support and community care.
Floating support is usually organized by charities; therefore, the availability of the service varies dramatically from state to state. Floating support offers direct help with essential life skills like cooking and cleaning, budgeting, local activities and maintaining tenancy and mortgage repayments. Community care is provided by state social services and is a more personal, physical presence in the home. Care workers may help you with general home maintenance, preparing meals and help with medication.
3. Assisted Living
Assisted living facilities, also known as extra-care housing, offer a long-term housing support that gently allows your loved one to live as independently as they want to or indeed can. Essentially, assisted living compromises of a self-contained, individual flat with staff available on-site 24/7 to help with anything and everything wherever needed.
Assisted living usually includes emergency help 24/7, optional social activities and groups within the community, communal lounges and out-buildings that allow your loved one the opportunity to socialize as and when they feel and regular help from the scheme manager.
Assisted living specifically serves the growing number of the active generation of seniors throughout the United States and crucially allows your loved one to stay in a community even if their needs should change over time. An assisted living facility effectively bridges the gap between independent living and nursing homes and is especially applicable when your loved one is suffering through dementia.
4. Independent Living
Established, professional and passionate staff at reputable independent living communities, such as independent living Buffalo Grove IL, provide a warm, welcoming environment for residents. Independent living communities are by far the best option for those older adults who are fully competent and comfortable running their daily lives and all that that entails.
Moreover, the stresses, trials and tribulations of running a home in the modern day in terms of rising costs and copious bills are removed from the lives of a resident in independent living communities with an all-encompassing annual, or monthly, fee which will free up your loved one’s time to enjoy their golden years.
Ask Tailor-Made and Specific Questions
There are a plethora of key questions that it would be pertinent to note when you and your loved one find an independent living community that piques your interest. You can ask your questions to the staff when you take a tour around the site.
- Are there plentiful staff members available on site 24/7?
- Are there additional fees for social excursions and trips?
- What is the procedure when a resident’s needs change? (Be that an increase or decrease)
- Is on-site transportation available for medical appointments?
- Is the activity calendar varied and regular enough to suit your loved one’s needs?
- What is the fundamental breakdown of the fees and are they paid monthly or annually?
- How is optimum safety and security ensured, especially during the night?
- Are staff members specifically trained in medical treatments if and when the need arises?
Why Independent Living Is The Best Decision
There is a wide plethora of benefits to moving to an independent living community, not least the freedom it affords to operate an entirely independent and in-control life in a safe, secure and welcoming environment. There is always a professional, medically trained team at the residents’ disposal should a situation arise and the emphasis on community and belonging is of utmost priority, meaning your loved one will never feel alone or succumb to feelings of loneliness and isolation.